The Bear Man

As art is an integral part of Mindspace's heart & soul, each Mindspace location is a home not only for companies but for local artists to present their art. Arts@Mindspace will reveal the stories of the people who make this magic

Written by Noga Grinberg

4 years ago

Meet Foma (with a heart), the talented artist who drew the fantastic mural on a rooftop wall on the 6th floor in our Ahad Ha’am building. We presented Foma with some questions, here is what she answered.

Who are you and what do you do?

I work as an artist under the pseudonym Foma (with a heart). I work with various mediums such as drawings, paintings, street art, installations, objects, costumes, masks, and photography. I started making street art after graduating from Shenkar college (2007) where I studied fashion design. Since then my work was exhibited in galleries, art fairs and museums. I am currently working on a new street art project, pasteups of drawings organized in repeating patterns, inspired by the concept of unity in Hinduism and I am preparing for a group show in Gvirol gallery, opening May 19th.


How does your work fit in Mindspace?

I painted a mural on the rooftop of the building in Ahad ha’am. It’s a man wearing a bear hat, or a bear-man. For me it has to do with Shamanism and animism in general.


What memorable responses have you had to your work?

As a street artist you don’t get to hear most of the things people say about your work. But a friend of mine overheard someone talking about one of my posters. It was a street art project about cat calling, I called it “The campaign against casual sexual harassment”. It was a photo of me wearing a white ski mask, with 20 quotes of strangers, phrases I heard on the street. The text ranged from: good morning and can I help you? to some very nasty offensive stuff. It reflected on the experience of being a girl in the public space of Tel-Aviv.

So my friend saw a woman on the street explaining to her kids what the poster is about. And that is the point when I realized how much impact street art can have on peoples lives and the importance of self expression in the public space.

What did you think would be easy until you tried it?

Being a grownup.


What did you think would be difficult until you tried it?

Erasing FB app from my smart phone.

What inspires you?

I am fascinated by the perception of normal and abnormal in our culture. I like to look at specific practises and human interactions as case studies for social structures. My current work is inspired by eastern philosophy, modern paganism, naturalism, rituals and the primal common ground of human life that is reflected through them. By approaching subjects such as eastern philosophy and rituals I am not trying to promote religious ideas. I am interested in the simple principles at the base of connecting people beyond ethnic origin.


What is your dream project?

A solo show in Palais de Tokyo.

what’s the worst critique you’ve ever gotten?

I think people are mostly nice, and don’t really say how they feel about your work in person. So there are no bad ones I can remember.


what’s the best critique you’ve ever gotten?

People who tell me it made their day, or that it captured how they felt but couldn’t express.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I like to do many different things all at once.


Artwork Photos by Noa Magger: